Campaign launched to save care home

£15m homes scheme for St James’ Hospital site sparks fears over traffic and city overcrowding

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TRADE union members and relatives of residents in a care home that could be closed have joined forces to campaign to keep the home open.

Together they hope to fight Hampshire County Council’s proposals to close Addenbrooke Care Home, in Gosport, as discussed in a public meeting last night.

The council has said the home – alongside another one in Winchester and a third in Fleet – is not suitable to accommodate the county’s growing ageing population.

But Unison has described the council’s plans as ‘privatisation by the back door’.

Now it is calling for a meeting with county councillor Felicity Hindson, who is responsible for the decision, to discuss why the home should stay open.

Tim Cutter, Unison branch secretary, said: ‘Our members work in these homes and there are 111 people at risk of redundancy if they close – that’s the reason we decided we needed a public campaign.

‘But our members have said that they’re more worried about the effect it would have on the residents.’

This is also the concern of Lynn Vine whose mum has lived in Addenbrooke for nearly four years.

The 64-year-old, of Trinity Green, Gosport, said: ‘My mum has well established Alzheimer’s and that home is all she knows. My fear is that if she was to be moved, she wouldn’t know where she was. I don’t even want to think about the sort of impact that could have on her.’

Members and resident’s relatives plan to hold a protest outside the council’s headquarters in Winchester on the afternoon of September 21, the day before a decision will be made about all three homes.

Mr Cutter added: ‘Even if they make a decision to close the homes we’re going to keep fighting this until the very last day because there is a real need for public sector residential care homes.’